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Benefits of Breastfeeding

According to The New Parents Guide, "Pediatricians, midwives, nurses and even formula manufacturers all agree that breastfeeding is the best thing for your baby." Many advantages are immediately apparent such as cost compared to purchasing formula (which is expensive!) and the convenience of it all. But why exactly is breast milk so good for your baby? It might surprise you to find out that even you as the mother can benefit from breastfeeding your baby as well!

Benefits for your baby...

Breast milk is full of essential vitamins, minerals, and antibodies that help your little one build up immunity against infections and allergies. Another plus is that your breast milk is personalized for your baby. It has everything he needs in exact amounts at the exact temperature. Colostrum is the term for the milk that is produced during pregnancy and just after birth. This milk is a thicker version of normal breast milk that is packed with tons vitamins and minerals. Colostrum will match the amount of milk your baby needs in his stomach rather than having to play the guessing game with a bottle. A few days after the initial feeding breast milk thins into the perfect amounts of fat, sugar, proteins, and water to help your baby continue to grow!

A few more quick benefits of breastfeeding...

  • Since breast milk is all natural it is easier for your baby to digest and he will have less risk of becoming constipated.
  • Breastfeeding is much more convenient than formula! No need to worry about bottles, running to the store when you run out, or making sure it's the right temperature.
  • Lowers the risk of diseases like SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) leukemia, and Atopic dermatitis (skin disease) just to name a few!

Benefits for the Mom...

It's true, you will benefit almost as much as your newborn by choosing to breastfeed!

In the beginning this might not seem like it's true but after you get a solid feeding routine down it becomes much easier than bottle feeding! You are able to satisfy your babies hunger right away anywhere, anytime.

Breastfeeding is not only healthier but it's also the frugal way to go about feeding your baby. A typical baby goes through about $1,500 worth of formula each year! Babies who are breastfed also tend to be healthier and accumulate lower health care costs than those who have been fed by formula. Doctor bills add up fast!

Did you know you will burn an extra 500 calories per day due to breastfeeding? That is the equivalent of running 4 to 5 miles for the average female every day! Breastfeeding also releases hormones in your body that helps your uterus to contract and shrink to its pre-pregnant size. This may be the one time in your life where you can lose weight without the dreaded diet and exercise!

Last but not least, breastfeeding creates a special bond between you and your baby. Studies show that the skin to skin contact that occurs during breastfeeding releases hormones that calms the mother and gives the child a sense of comfort.

Not all mothers have the ability to breastfeed their newborns and it's ultimately your decision if and when you will breastfeed. Consult your physician with any questions or concerns you may have so you will be prepared to help your baby grow up as strong and healthy as possible!

 

Resources:
http://www.thenewparentsguide.com/breastfeeding-advantages-breast.htm
http://www.womenshealth.gov/Breastfeeding/index.cfm?page=227
http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/women/pregnancy/birth/019.html